sphagnum

sphagnum sfăg´nəm [key] or peat moss, any species of the large and widely distributed genus Sphagnum, economically the most valuable moss . Sphagnums, the principal constituent of peat , typically grow as a floating mat on freshwater bogs . Their leaflike appendages have many large cells with circular openings that enable them to absorb liquids readily hence they are commercially important as a soil structure enhancer (or component of potting soils), packing material, and absorbent dressings and for other uses. Sphagnum is classified in the division Bryophyta , class Bryopsida.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants

Browse By Subject